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Time, CNN to merge financial Web sites

Time Inc. and CNN plan to merge financial sites CNNMoney.com, Fortune.com, FSB.com and Business2.com into a single Web site. The new site, at CNNMoney.com, will launch in January. It will feature daily business news, market coverage, commentary and analysis provided by site staff and draw on content from Time publications Money, Fortune, Fortune Small Business and Business 2.0. CNN's global reporting staff will also contribute to site content.

U.S. online ad spending forecast to reach $12.9B

U.S. Internet ad spending will reach $12.9 billion this year, according to a forecast from Internet research firm eMarketer. By 2009, Internet ad spending will reach $22.3 billion, the report found. eMarketer said several factors are driving increased Internet advertising growth, including larger ad budgets overall, a shift in budgets from traditional media to online and increased online ad pricing.

Online retail sales expected to surge

U.S. online retail sales will grow from $172 billion in 2005 to $329 billion in 2010, according to a forecast from Forrester Research. The report found that businesses are investing more in emerging technologies, such as sophisticated analytics and personalization tools, to improve the online experience for existing customers. Also, according to the report, e-commerce will represent 13% of total U.S. retail sales by 2010. Travel will continue to be the largest online retail category, growing from $63 billion in 2005 to $119 billion in 2010. General merchandise (all retail categories excluding auto, food and beverage, and travel) will top $100 billion for the first time in 2005.

Survey: Marketers seek better access to data

While most senior marketers say they have "good visibility" into all of their marketing, only 29% say they can easily access and use marketing program performance data to shape future strategy and investment, according to a study by AMR Research. AMR surveyed 120 marketing executives from a variety of industries including financial services, manufacturing and IT services. Sixty-one percent said they lack confidence that marketing resources and dollars are used efficiently. Only 33% said they can confidently account for the value driven by marketing in their company. Among the major obstacles to achieving marketing goals, according to the survey, is "not having enough time to focus on strategy."

Wolters Kluwer acquires Boucher

Wolters Kluwer Health has acquired the assets of Boucher Communications, a business media company serving the optometry, optician and ophthalmology fields. Boucher Communications' assets will become part of Wolters Kluwer Health's Medical Research unit. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

eMarketer reports wireless nearing peak

North American wireless subscriber growth is nearing its peak, according to a report by research firm eMarketer titled "North America Wireless Trends." The report found that North American mobile phone penetration will reach 67.4% in 2005, with 199.3 million subscribers. By 2009, mobile phone penetration will reach 78.4%, with 240.2 million subscribers, the report projects. eMarketer also reported that mobile phone revenue has more than tripled since 1998, reaching $102.1 billion in 2004. The average monthly mobile phone bill has grown from $39.43 in December 1998 to $50.64 in December 2004.

Carat Interactive becomes Carat Fusion

Carat Interactive has changed its name to Carat Fusion. The rebranding reflects the company's merger earlier this year with Carat Direct, another unit of Carat North America. The former head of Carat Direct, Susan Rowe, was named exec VP-integrated media for the combined entity.

Workflow Management agrees to buy Relizon

Workflow Management, the parent company of WorkflowOne, a printer and promotional products company, announced it has signed an agreement to acquire Relizon Co., a document management company. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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